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Tag: Barack Obama (1-10 of 24)

New literary journal asks, 'What if we were all James Franco?'

We should’ve seen this coming. America’s highest-profile English student and most prolific Faulkner adapter is now the namesake of a literary journal. Prepare for The James Franco ReviewBut despite bearing the actor’s name and silhouetted image on its cover, the journal won’t feature articles curated or written by him. Instead, it’s a publication founded on this question: “What if we were all James Franco?” At least, that’s what it’s founder Corinne Manning claims on the Review‘s about page.

The project is essentially devoted to giving everyday writers the visibility they’d have if they were Franco. Manning and her colleagues came upon the idea after seeing Franco’s byline in multiple publications, and realizing they might stand a better chance of getting published if they submitted as the movie star, instead of themselves. A couple degrees of abstraction and poof: The James Franco Review.

“We seek to publish works of prose and poetry as if we were all James Franco, as if our work was already worthy of an editor’s attention,” Manning writes. “All submissions received are submitted as James Franco and are read by a roving cast of guest editors who choose based on their tastes as readers.”

This falls short of parody and definitely isn’t an homage. It’s almost an indictment. [L.A. Times]

Save the date: On April 28, 2015, you’ll be able to read the true story of America’s first Ebola casualty. Thomas Eric Duncan died on Oct. 8 in Dallas after contracting Ebola while in his native Liberia. Now his fiancée, Louise Troh, has signed on with the Weinstein Company and the Perseus Books Group to tell her story. “Louise Troh’s account of Eric’s life and the aftermath of his death will put a human face on an issue that has gripped the entire nation,” David Steinberger, Perseus’ President and CEO, said in a press release. [AP]

Remember when everyone was toting around copies of Barack Obama’s The Audacity of Hope and Dreams From My Father? Books are one of the best ways for political hopefuls to get across their message with style, coherency, and depth—and now possible presidential candidate Marco Rubio has signed on to release one. Due out Jan. 13, the book will actually be Rubio’s second, after his 2012 memoir. Based off the title, American Dreams: Restoring Economic Opportunity for Everyone promises to provide readers with a bit more partisanship, and maybe some reasons to vote for or against the Florida senator. [L.A. Times]

On the Books: Whoopi Goldberg penning a book about the 'downsides of marriage'

- Hachette has acquired a “provocative, witty, and heartfelt book on the downsides of marriage” by the thrice-married actress and The View co-host Whoopi Goldberg, according to a press release from Tuesday. In the untitled book, set to be published in hardcover, ebook, and audio versions in September 2015, the personality “will speak openly, and with her trademark wit and wisdom about why marriage isn’t for everyone, how being alone can be satisfying, and how what’s ultimately most important is understanding who you are and what in life makes you happy.”

Goldberg is one of the few celebrities in the prestigious “EGOT” club—having won an Emmy, Golden Globe (twice), Oscar, and Tony over the course of her three-decade career. The winner of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor is also the author of children’s Sugar Plum Ballerinas series, as well as Is It Just Me?, her humorous take on the decline of modern society.

She said in the press release: “I get to hear from a lot of different people about relationships and this got me trying to figure out why the divorce rate is SO high. It occurred to me that as one who has done it badly often, I might have some insight into why a person might not put her best foot forward in a relationship… It’s hard to really know the other person’s agenda, but if someone says ‘you complete me’…RUN!!!”


On the Books: Textbooks will now address significance of Obama election

This week, California Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law a bill calling for the revision of the state’s history and social science curriculum to include instruction on “the election of President Barack Obama and the significance of the United States electing its first African American President.”

Specifically, the law requires the Calif. Instructional Quality Commission to consider recommending the adoption of the requirement to the state board. The bill has been tacked on to the state’s Education Code, meaning that the historical and social gravity of Obama’s landmark 2008 election could soon become required reading in school textbooks statewide. READ FULL STORY

'Double Down' scoop: Chris Christie's baggage, the Clinton-for-Biden swap, and Clint Eastwood's convention speech

You don’t need to DVR Meet the Press every Sunday morning to appreciate Double Down, Mark Halperin and John Heilemann’s chronicle of the 2012 election. Even with two vanilla main characters like Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, the two journalists behind Game Change have a supporting cast that would make the Coen brothers tremble in jealousy. There’s Joe Biden and Donald Trump, Bill Clinton and Chris Christie, Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann and the rest of the Republican-primary sideshow. With Double Down, the two “inside” journalists pick through the carcasses of the losing side, shed light on the decisions of the victors, and wrap every chapter conclusion with an unwritten postscript that seems to say, “Is this really the best way to pick a leader?”

Double Down examines plenty of what-ifs — Hillary for V.P? — and even more what-will-bes, as it sets the table for Game Change III: 2016, which could feature Hillary Clinton squaring off against combative New Jersey governor Chris Christie. Until then, let’s dig into Double Down‘s most-talked-about revelations:

Hillary almost replaced Biden on the ticket

Well, no, not almost. But the White House gave it some serious thought. Biden was loyal to Obama and useful during the first term, but he had crossed wires with the White House on Catholic organizations’ exceptions for women’s birth control as part of Obamacare, and jumped the gun on gay marriage. He was not part of the president’s inner circle, and Halperin and Heilemann compared him and Obama’s doomed Chief of Staff Bill Daley to the ol’ fogey Muppets in the balcony, Waldorf and Statler. Funny then, that Daley — who’d been Biden’s own political director back in 1988 — had argued for Hillary Clinton to take his old boss’s spot on the Democratic ticket in 2012. Clinton had seen her reputation soar in her new duties as Secretary of State, and was beloved by the party. The campaign tested the idea on focus groups, and ultimately decided that Clinton wouldn’t move the needle enough to make the switch. According to the authors, Biden never knew he’d “dodged a bullet he never saw coming.” READ FULL STORY

Obama adviser David Axelrod plans memoir for 2014

One of President Barack Obama’s top advisers and strategists during his first term has a book deal.

David Axelrod is working on a memoir scheduled for fall 2014. At least two other former Obama administration officials, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Timothy Geithner, also have books planned next year.

Penguin Press announced Axelrod’s book on Tuesday. According to Penguin, Axelrod will write about his long friendship with Obama and offer his views on elections and government.

Axelrod helped run Obama’s successful campaigns in 2008 and 2012 and worked as an adviser to the president during his first term. The 58-year-old former political writer and ex-columnist for the Chicago Tribune recently joined NBC News as a senior political analyst.

Read more:
Hillary Clinton authoring book on Secretary of State tenure, coming 2014
Margaret Thatcher biography to be released after her funeral
Jackie Robinson biopic ’42’ gets high praise from Michelle Obama

Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner lands book deal with Crown Publishers


Former United States Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner has scored a book deal with Random House imprint Crown Publishers.

Geithner’s memoir, which is slated for 2014, will provide a “behind-the-scenes” look at the financial crisis, specifically offering a “play book” for future policy makers to draw on, as well as helping the public to understand how and why governments act in crisis.

“In telling this inside story, Secretary Geithner will chronicle how decisions were made during the most harrowing moments of the crisis, when policy makers faced a fog of uncertainty, risked catastrophic outcomes, and had no institutional memory or recent precedent to guide them,” Crown Publishers said in a press release. READ FULL STORY

Cass Sunstein, Obama's former regulatory chief, writing book

A former Obama administration official has a book coming about how government might work in the future.

Cass Sunstein, President Barack Obama’s regulatory chief for three years, has a deal with Simon & Schuster for Simpler: The Future of Government. The publisher announced Wednesday that the book is scheduled for release in June.

According to Simon & Schuster, Simpler will offer an accessible look past the debate of big and small government and outline simple and democratic regulations.

Sunstein has written or co-written numerous books, including Nudge, On Rumors, and The Second Bill of Rights.

Republicans and Democrats read differently, according to a Goodreads infographic -- PHOTO

We’ll be subjected to election polling results nonstop until November, but here’s a different kind of stat: Goodreads has released an infographic analyzing the literary tastes of its users based on political party. Not all of the results are particularly shocking — Mitt Romney supporters are much more likely to read the best-selling Heaven Is For Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back, which recounts Colton Burpo’s trip to meet God while undergoing an emergency appendectomy, and Republicans, as always, tend to love Ayn Rand. Interestingly, Obama supporters are harsher critics of books (and debate performances?) and are three times more likely to have read novels by Jonathan Franzen. Check out the full results below: READ FULL STORY

'The Obamas' by Jodi Kantor: The EW Review


Jodi Kantor, a New York Times correspondent, says she got the idea for The Obamas back in 2009, when she interviewed the couple in the Oval Office for a piece about their marriage. “After the article was published, I couldn’t stop thinking about the subtle tension I had felt in that room,” she writes. Although she never interviewed either the president or his wife again, she went on to talk to 33 White House staffers. The book that resulted isn’t, as advertised, about the Obamas’ marriage — not just because Kantor never spoke to them again, but also because the Obamas lead a cloistered life in Washington, going out even less than George and Laura Bush, who were famously private. The Obamas doesn’t tell us more than we already know about Barack Obama, either. It’s really a portrait of Michelle — and it’s not a kind one. READ FULL STORY

Michelle Obama book: cover art revealed!

The cover of First Lady Michelle Obama’s book was revealed this morning on iVillage, featuring a fantastic-looking Obama holding a basket of vegetables in front of that famed White House garden. American Grown: How the White House Kitchen Garden Inspires Families, Schools and Communities, due out on April 10, will be about the First Lady’s passion project: healthy food for everyone.

Read more:
What’s on your workout playlist? For Michele Obama, it’s a whole lot of Beyonce
Barack Obama, Steven Spielberg, Bill Gates and others remember Apple legend Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs’ food weirdnesses: Fasts, living on apples or carrots for weeks on end, fruit smoothie diets

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